17-year-old Kearny girl charged in death of newborn baby found dead in trash can one year ago

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A 17-year-old Kearny girl has been charged with the death of a newborn baby found dead in a trash can one year ago, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The defendant, who was 17 years old at the time, is being charged as a juvenile after an investigation by the HCPO Homicide Unit and the matter is being handled in Family Court.

The juvenile was charged with aggravated manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, and desecrating human remains.

The Regional Medical Examiner has determined the manner of death to be homicide.

Since juvenile matters handled in Family Court are confidential, no additional information can be released at this time, Suarez added.

A change.org petition stated by Angela Owens in July asking for justice for Matthew, the name of the deceased baby, has collected 2,138 signatures. T

he petition was critical of the HCPO for not releasing any further information since releasing basic cursory information in November 2020.

“Although the mother of this child was identified and is known to live in the home where the baby’s remains were discovered by police, no arrests or charges have been made. In February, despite not yet having a completed medical report submitted, the remains of this baby were released to the family for burial,” the online petition says.

“This baby deserves justice! Please help us to give Baby Matthew a voice and show your support by signing this petition.”

In an open letter to The Observer, the first news outlet to cover the story last year, in July, Suarez asked for patience in the matter since forensics on newborns are “complex and lengthy” and are conducted by another agency – the Regional Medical Examiner.

“Forensics on newborns and infants are some of the most complex and lengthy. Currently, this matter is with the Regional Medical Examiner, which is an independent office from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and operates under the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services,” she wrote at the time.

“It is worth noting that as much as we want this to move quickly, we only get one chance to do this and we want it to be done correctly.”

The letter also ran shortly before a community candlelight vigil was held for Matthew.